ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court has overturned a man’s murder conviction, citing his attorney’s failure to challenge a witness’ unsworn statement that was a key to his conviction.
Last Friday’s ruling orders a new trial for Trondo Humphrey, who was 16 when he was sentenced to 60 years in prison following his conviction in Benjamin Laflin’s 1995 killing.
The Herald Bulletin reports the court criticized Humphrey’s attorney’s failure to challenge an unsworn statement by a witness who said Humphrey told him he had shot a man in a truck.
That statement was key evidence in Humphrey’s conviction, even though the witness acknowledged making it up.
Justice Robert Rucker wrote that if “the inadmissible hearsay statements” were removed from the trial evidence Humphrey probably would not have been convicted of murder.